Finding Gravitational Waves: One Man's Life Goal Realized After Nearly 30 Years

Scientists announced Thursday they have found gravitational waves in the fabric of spacetime. One man who leads work at what’s called the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory -- or LIGO -- station on the Hanford site, has been working on this singular project for nearly 30 years.
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Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Should Washington’s Constitution be amended to require a two-thirds vote for tax hikes? The Republican-led state Senate voted “yes” to that Friday. But supporters failed to muster the supermajority vote required to send the question to voters.

Republican budget writer Andy Hill of Redmond made the case for the higher threshold.

“I think it forces everybody to come together and make sure that when we do raise a tax it’s for a very, very good reason,” Hill said.

Democrat Reuven Carlyle of Seattle opposed the constitutional amendment.

Voting in Oregon could get even easier -- and cheaper. Lawmakers are considering a measure that would require the state to pay the postage when voters return their ballots through the mail.

Three-strikes offenders serving life in prison without the possibility of parole should get a “second look.” That’s the position of Washington’s Sentencing Guidelines Commission.

Jan & Peggy / Flickr

An abnormally high number of babies in Central Washington have been diagnosed with a fatal defect since 2010. The cause is still unknown. State health officials are collecting data in hopes of learning more.

Anencephaly, in which babies born with their brains and skulls are not completely formed, is fatal - and pregnancies in Benton, Franklin, and Yakima counties have been affected at a rate about four times above the national average. State health workers are conducting an investigation into what’s happening.

Delta Air Lines workers in the greater Seattle area received $53.1 million in bonuses Friday. About 3,000 local employees at Delta's newest hub city qualified for the corporate profit sharing program.

FBI Allows Media First Look At Malheur Refuge

Feb 12, 2016
Conrad Wilson / OPB

The FBI has started processing the crime scene at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. It is reported it could be several months before the refuge is reopened.

The police presence at the refuge is still significant.

FBI Assistant Special Agent In Charge Larry Karl said following the arrests of the four remaining holdouts Thursday, tactical teams began searching the buildings.

A plan to hike Oregon's minimum wage is moving forward in the state legislature. The state Senate Thursday approved a measure that would increase the wage to as much as $14.75 per hour over the next six years.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said an investigation into the early release of nearly 3,000 Washington prison inmates should be finished soon. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans got an update from their investigator on a separate inquiry underway.

Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter said he's concerned with the number of children who die because their parents choose faith healing instead of traditional medical care.

Estela Caballero / http://nwpublicradio.tumblr.com/

It’s February, the month of sunny skies, warm air, and spring breezes. Wait… that’s not right, is it? But it reached 78 degrees in Long Beach this week. And we can expect highs as much as 15 degrees above average across the state.

This could be bad news, coming on the heels of last winter’s drought, except that Washington saw above-normal snowpack this year. Making this even more unusual? It’s an El Nino year, which typically means warm, dry weather.

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